The word fun is rarely (if ever) associated with a working environment. The idea behind it is that a workplace is a serious place where things get done.
Nobody has got the time to have a little fun at work. It’s unprofessional, unproductive, and disruptive. Right?
Well, not quite. For employees, having a fun work environment is an important variable that contributes to a great place to work. A fun workplace reinforces the feeling of belonging and inspires loyalty. Moreover, a happy workplace culture will see numerous positive results including better productivity and an increase in employee satisfaction.
The It Pays To Play study by BrightHR revealed that:
- 79% of graduates believe that a fun work environment is essential.
- 44% believe that a fun workplace promotes a better work ethic.
- 62% of employees who had had no sick days in the last three months having had fun at work.
Creating a fun workplace is not hard or disruptive. Having fun at work can simply be about enhancing the monotonous day to day activities so that employees actually want to come to the office. It is a means of not only engaging workers but also retaining your top performers.
As a manager here are the 6 things that you can do to develop a more fun workplace culture:
Fun At Work: 6 Tips To Help Establish A Fun Work Environment
In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.
1. Celebrate Fun Days
A working environment that runs on a fixed routine is a big recipe for disengagement. A workplace culture that doesn’t actively work to make the staff excited to work, is not really an effective culture. One of the simple and easy ways to make the workplace environment more enjoyable is celebrating office fun days.
Office fun days are not days where no work gets done. Instead, office fun days are about taking a normal working day and making it into something interesting that perks up your employees’ workday.
It can be as simple as a casual Friday where anybody can wear whatever they want. Or it can be a “Dress Up As Your Favourite Character” Day. However, you can go all in and really increase employee happiness, by establishing an ice cream day once a week (or month).
Such office fun days have an added advantage of being seen as a tradition in the workplace culture. Consequently, people feel proud and advocate the presence of such traditions in their organization.
2. Rejoice Small Wins
An important aspect of a fun workplace culture is where people feel good about themselves and their work. While appreciating major accomplishments is necessary to increase employee morale, celebrating the small wins can be just as effective.
An employee has been particularly helpful to his team members. When an employee stayed late to cover a sick colleague’s work. When someone always comes to work on time. Or keeps his workplace immaculately clean. Such modest day to day acts should not go under the radar and be appreciated as such.
To make it into a really fun activity, you can take inspiration from “The Office” and hold a Dundies. Make up silly awards such as “Best Shoes” or “Most Likely To Fall Asleep In A Meeting”. It will be sure to impart some positive vibes, laughter, team bonding, and establish an overall fun working environment.
3. Ask Employees About What They Want
The best way to go about creating a fun working environment is to ask your employees about what they want. There is usually a generational and positional gap seen between the manager and the team members. Thus, what you may consider as fun at work might not necessarily be so for the employees.
Therefore consider it a good practice to unique or gather feedback from the team about what should you do to make the working environment more fun. More often, you’ll find that they’ll be more than happy to help you since it benefits them as well. Also, it will provide an excellent bonding opportunity between the manager and the team members.
4. Indulge In Team Building Fun Activities
Team building activities that involve some strategy, skills, and team members working together can be incredibly effective in creating a fun work environment. Such fun activities provide a plethora of benefits including:
- Aids the team members into honing their strategic skillset.
- Promotes team binding.
- Helping combat work pressure and stress.
- Increase in creativity and confidence levels.
- Inspires better communication between team members.
Such fun activities help to bring team members together and actually bond over something that all enjoys. This creates a sense of camaraderie and that their colleagues can actually be friends. Perhaps, the most important benefit is that the learning and collaboration developed during such team building fun games can help in the actual working environment as well.
5. Friendly Contests
Creating a fun work environment can be as simple as hosting some friendly office challenges. Not only will the team members have fun but such fun activities promote a healthy dose of competition among team members.
Such friendly contests have often been used to increase the engagement levels among the workforce as such challenges are extremely fun and the process of winning it is extremely rewarding for employees.
Organizations take such fun activities to the next level by implementing gamification in the workplace culture. One example of gamification is the use of a leaderboard to see who are the top winners in contests such as a 10k walk challenge. In such scenarios, fun at work is the element that helps drives a motivated and happy workforce.
6. Celebrate Birthdays and Work Anniversaries
Every employee wants to feel seen and appreciated in his/her workplace. One of the best ways to do so is to celebrate your employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries. This makes employees feel that the organization they work for, actually values them. Additionally, such days are great for other team members to celebrate with one another.
You can make such events special by having a small gift, a treat, or a handwritten note in handy. In your budget calls for it, a small team lunch is even better. All in all, make sure that the celebration is fun.
In what ways do you ensure that your employees have fun at work? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!